Origami Tunic with Embroidery

Difficulty level
Time to Complete


Picture: Origami Tunic with Embroidery



(seam and hem allowances must be added.)

Dark brown fabric:
4 x back bodice pieces
4 x upper front bodice piece
1 x front bodice piece
4 x strips for origami ornamentation 8 x 140 cm (finished width 6 cm)  

Light brown material:
2 x sleeves
2 x sleeve cuffs
1 x front lower tunic (on the fold)
2 x back lower tunic


Origami Ornamentation
Tip: For the origami ornamentation, it is important to work accurately and to press the folds well.
1.    Sew the darts on the back pieces and press towards the center.
2.    Lay the upper front bodice pieces on the back pieces and sew together on the shoulder seam. Sew the right sides together for each inner and outer upper piece. Sew these units together along the neckline, right sides together. Trim seam allowances and clip the curves. Turn right sides out and press the neckline edges well. Stitch the armhole edges on top of other.
3.    For the origami ornamentation, stitch right sides together and turn over both fabric strips lengthwise and turn on the right side.
4.    Mark the following markings on the fabric strips:
5.    Press the fabric along the red line and fold to the black line.

6.    Fold all four corners to the middle. Fold seven origami rectangles in this manner. 
7.    Open up the rectangles again. Stitch in place along the inner fold lines of the origami rectangle.
8.    From the red fabric, cut 7 squares measuring 4 x 4 cm and place on the inner fold lines. Sew in place along the edge of the red square.
9.    Fold the previously unfolded corners back to the middle and press everything well once more.
10.    Place the origami strips on the bodice front and pin in place, lining up parallel to the neck edge.
11.    Sew strips onto the bodice front using an edge stitch.
12.    Close the side seams.

Sewing on the sleeves

  1.  Lay the tear-away embroidery stabilizer underneath the sleeve cuffs. Sew a decorative stitch in the middle using stitch number 777. Sew together the narrow sides of the sleeve cuffs.
  2.  Close the sleeve seams. To gather the lower sleeve edges, stitch two rows with straight stitch using the longest stitch length. Gather the lower sleeve edge to fit the sleeve cuff by pulling the bobbin thread. Sew the sleeve cuffs to the lower sleeve edges; press the seam allowances toward the cuffs.
  3.  Fold the cuffs in half length-wise, wrong sides together. Turn under the seam allowance on the unfinished edge. Pin the tucked inner edges in place and stitch-in-the-ditch from the right.
  4. Arrange and attach the sleeves between the markings.

Sewing the lower tunic / finishing the tunic

  1. Close the side seams on the lower tunic pieces. Sew the lower tunic to the bodice.
  2. Insert the invisible zipper in the center back. Close the open seam after the zipper insertion.
  3. Turn up the hem twice and sew.

How to embroider the tunic?

(for machines without Endless embroidery function)

  1. On the dress section draw a straight line with chalk from the bust seam down to the hem.
  2. Prepare machine for embroidering. Use straight-stitch plate and embroidery needle.
  3. Hoop dress section and embroidery template into the large, oval hoop in such way that the chalk line is in the center. As an alternative use self-adhesive embroidery stabilizer and stick fabric onto stabilizer.
  4. Position embroidery design if required. The center of the design should be on the chalk line.
  5. Start embroidering. Wait until design is completed. Unhoop fabric, or stabilizer.
  6. Hoop self-adhesive embroidery stabilizer. Stick dress section on stabilizer in such way that the chalk line is in the center again (use template). The last diamond of the previous repeat must be within the embroidery area of the hoop. Use Virtual Positioning (absolute Check) to ensure design placement accuracy.
  7. Attach hoop. Check starting point. Reposition if required.
  8. Embroider second repeat. 
  9. Remove hoop. Unhoop fabric. Cut jump threads. Then carefully remove excess embroidery stabilizer.
  10. If another repeat is wished, repeat procedure from step 6 on.